Studies of positive and negative social ties usually are done in isolation of each other, precluding an understanding of their relative contributions to psychological functioning. This research evaluated the effects of adolescents' conflict with and social support from key relationships (parents, siblings, and best friends) on adolescents' self-esteem, substance use, and externalizing symptoms. Ss were 296 adolescents and their parents; 145 families had alcoholic fathers, and 151 had nonalcoholic parents. Support and conflict provided by each network member showed only a mild negative correlation. Support from parents, but not siblings or best friends, was related to adolescents' reports of substance use and externalizing. Conflict with parents was consistently related to externalizing behaviors. There was no evidence that conflict within a relationship neutralizes the effectiveness of the support it provides.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science